Jump to content
craig

Dive gear - redundancy and alternative setups

Recommended Posts

Sure, nobody needs redundant computers on a single 30 meter dive, but if you don't have redundant time and depth information then aborting the dive is probably the right course. More important, if you are on a dive trip, only carry one computer, and it fails, then it's back to tables and you'll need to clear for 24 hours or more before you resume diving. Same deal even if you have a spare computer that lives in your cabin.

I was talking about a 30 foot dive, not 30 meters, and I didn't recommend aborting a dive, I simply said I could make good decisions. I've never had a computer fail on a dive trip, though I've seen it, and I've always had access to a spare if a failure did occur. I don't think waiting 24 hours is an unreasonable penalty for such an event considering how unlikely it is in my experience.

 

The reason for choosing my example was experience. I did a trip where I experienced the "sync before every dive" feature that resulted in most every dive happening without an SPG. I simply stayed shallow. On one dive I was treated to an empty tank as well so I ran out at 15 feet 40 minutes in. With modern regulators you get ample warning and it's no big deal.

 

(and I also agree with Craig that "a DIR photographer" (like a photographer dive buddy) "is an oxymoron")
Actually, it was George himself who said that. Of course, their team has videographers who clearly violate DIR doctrine so George is not only arrogant, he's a hypocrite. ;-)

 

I do use happily wear my my spare 2nd on a necklace instead of a scum-ball.
I find open water divers that breath a long hose and wear a necklace as amusing as you find photographers that use Air2's. An Air2 will not accumulate scum, it will get operated on every dive and it will get serviced, thus insuring that the inflator itself is serviced rather than neglected. It *also* eliminates a hose and I always know where it is because I'm constantly using it. There is no reason to disparage the use of an Air2.

 

The needs of a full caver diver, of which I am certified, do not translate fully to open water and given that the priorities differ, gear decisions may as well. That is truly "Doing It Right".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was talking about a 30 foot dive, not 30 meters, and I didn't recommend aborting a dive, I simply said I could make good decisions. I've never had a computer fail on a dive trip, though I've seen it, and I've always had access to a spare if a failure did occur. I don't think waiting 24 hours is an unreasonable penalty for such an event considering how unlikely it is in my experience.

...[snip]...

I find open water divers that breath a long hose and wear a necklace as amusing as you find photographers that use Air2's. An Air2 will not accumulate scum, it will get operated on every dive and it will get serviced, thus insuring that the inflator itself is serviced rather than neglected. It *also* eliminates a hose and I always know where it is because I'm constantly using it. There is no reason to disparage the use of an Air2. The needs of a full caver diver, of which I am certified, do not translate fully to open water and given that the priorities differ, gear decisions may as well. That is truly "Doing It Right".

Interesting. I've experienced three computer failures underwater, and seen many others fail. But only the first computer failure I ead resulted in aborted or missed dives. After that, I've always worn a second computer. The DiveRite Nitek Plus isn't much bigger than a dive watch, the minimal effort involved in wearing two computers seems a reasonable price to pay for not having to wait out 24 hours, considering how common computer failures are in my experience.

 

I didn't (and don't) disparate the use of an Air2 at all, though I agree with whoever it was that said reducing drag by one hose won't accomplish much if you're already pushing a huge housing with long strobe arms through the water, as I often do. But I've seen lots of Air2s fail on liveaboard trips, but only a few conventional power inflators (and I carry a spare, with hose), and no backup 2nds.

 

There is no need to persuade me (or anyone else here) that the gear needs of open water divers are different from cave diving, Craig. Every year I see more and more divers who are coming to the IndoPacific using backplate + wing rigs, what of it? We don't pretend to be DIR. I'm sure nobody here who dives with a jacket BC (fine) or uses a short hose (fine too) would want to be accused of embracing such PADI-cisms as a wearing snorkel attached to the mask on a high-current dive, or dragging the console and octopuses over the reef.

 

But I am surprised, Craig, that you so lightly dismiss divers who use a long hose in open water as "amusing". It's not about penetrations or passing gear ahead through narrow openings or past obstructions - I'll leave that stuff to you guys who like to get in and through small spaces.

 

I use a long hose primary simply because it makes sharing a regulator with an OOA diver much easier and safer. A PADI-style short-hose octopus may be fine for 60 seconds in a pool demonstration, but it's not quite the same thing if the OOA diver is showing signs of panic, or if the divers are dealing with strong currents, swimming back to an anchor rode while sharing air, mandatory deco stops, etc. It's probably only necessary to have had to deal with a OOA diver once under difficult conditions in order to appreciate the huge difference the long hose makes.

 

Frogfish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I split the topic since these issues have taken a life of their own and was going waaayyyy off topic.

 

Robert, I think Craig is trying to point out (and which you agree) that many different kinds of diving requires different setups. As you know, diving off a liveaboard on reefs and seamounts is definitely not the same as doing the sardine run. On the run I personally disapprove of extra hoses in general, as the sharks can easily snag them and make it a not-so-nice day for you. It's also easier to rapidly pull the rig up onto the boat without snags. You saw I was diving without octopus for that reason (and I since went to an Atomic SS1 to appease a certain german photog). Your long hose setup was harder to remove and bring onto the boat than a minimal setup. As for sharing air, I believe you know what my big french friend would say... "Wat, yew dun know 'ow to bahdee breeze wiz wan 2nd staage?"

This is not a criticism of your setup but the realities of doing different sorts of diving. There isn't one right setup for everything. Flexibility is the key, which is why you see many experienced divers with backplate systems. They can change setups for technical or leisure diving in a flash, by switching the bladders, adding pockets, using twins etc.

For instance my setup for computers is great for a video shooter, having a computer within your FOV, allowing you to keep an eye on the computer while shooting. Not much different to a still shoot who can stop to look (or not worry about it as we saw a certain someone yoyo his way around). Calling a dive if the link to the hoseless fails may be great on a reef, but not when it's a once in a lifetime chance of catching mating orcas or something like that. That's where the second backup computer that is hosed comes in. It gives pretty much the same info, esp if it uses the same deco algorithm.

Horses for courses and all that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely, Drew. For that matter, I would go further and say different divers may require (or simply prefer) different set-ups even under the same conditions. I would be the last person to say everyone should comply with a unified one-size-fits-all gear configuration for any kind of diving. I might go along if I ever found a system that I agree with completely, but that seems unlikely. But if a perfect approach ever does into being, it won't be DIR, and it certainly won't come out of the wondrous practitioners of PADI-cide. As you know, I've experimented and put some thought into the gear I use and how it is rigged. I assume other divers in this forum have done so as well.

 

That said, I confess that it bothers me a lot to see a computer console and/or an octopus dragged over the coral. One sees this all too often. It bothers me when divers omit what I consider essential safety equipment, such as their SMB, light, etc. In my own gear, I prefer simplicity, ruggedness, and where it seems necessary or appropriate, some degree of redundancy, and I appreciate it when the people I dive with take the same approach, regardless of differences in the way we approach those objectives.

 

For me, that package means, among other things:

- BP + wing;

- analog SPG rather than relying on wireless transmitter electronics, with a spare SPG in my dive bag on any trip;

- separate spare 2nd rather than an Air2 (or its Atomic equivalent, etc, though I have nothing against that configuration.

- multi-gas, gas switching computer on my wrist, one which doesn't incorporate any unnecessary or (again, in my view) extraneous functions, and a back-up computer next to it.

- SMB, spool, back-up light, flashing strobe, knife, and a spare mask carried on almost every dive.

 

If I had not had dive computer failures on more than one occasion, I probably wouldn't worry so much about always diving with two computers. Similarly, if I hadn't experienced catastrophic mask failure at depth (an expensive Mares mask), I probably wouldn't bother carrying a spare mask on every dive, but I have, so I do. Finally, as I explained in my reply to Craig's post above, I like the long hose primary second because I believe it's safer if it becomes necessary to assist another diver in an OOA situation, particularly under difficult conditions. (Correctly configured, the long hose in a Hogarthian configuration makes a smaller loop than a PADI-style short-hose 2nd stage, speaking of getting snagged by sharks or snagging something.)

 

I wouldn't want to impose to impose any of my gear choices on other divers. The only exception is that I do believe carrying a SMB (surface marker buoy) and a light should be mandatory on all open ocean dives, particularly where there are risks of divers becoming separated or carried away by currents. Not that my view on this (or anything else) matters much.

 

Finally, my last word (I promise) on computers and SPGs. I can certainly see the advantage of being able to "keep your eye on your computer and air supply while shooting." That's why my SPG is clipped off on left chest d-ring. I can usually read it by just glancing downwards, no hands, just as I can read depth, no-stop time, elapsed time etc. on either or both my dive computers simply by rotating my left wrist and glancing at it. I don't know whether this would work for someone shooting video or not, but it works for me.

 

Frogfish (Robert)

Edited by frogfish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A claim was made that reducing hose count was silly considering the drag of photography equipment. I would argue that photographers are the ones who most benefit from reducing drag but regardless, I was simply pointing out that there are good reasons for that equipment beyond the reduction of hoses. There are advantages to wireless air integration and Air2s. Whether you feel that those advantages outweigh the disadvantages is another matter. I started liking Air2's once I had to deal with a diver whose inflator stuck open due to a lack of maintainence. Prior to that I considered them a single device that performed two functions poorly.

 

I don't doubt that equipment fails but I've been relatively problem-free regarding scuba gear (probably because I've travelled with an experienced group using relatively new gear). I've used redundant computers before but, unless the computers are identical and mounted in the same part of the body, you have to always consider both computers at the start of and during the dive. The extra hassle of that doesn't justify its use when my equipment is problem-free. It doesn't bother me that others make a different value judgement. I will accept leaving a dive early and sitting out a day.

 

Likewise, I don't really care if others breath a long hose and wear a necklace. For me, the wrapped long hose is comfortable when diving doubles but the hose always snags on a single and pulls on my mouth. For open water diving, the tradeoff to me isn't worth it. I prefer the ease of handling of less gear, much as Drew mentioned, to the potential benefits of a long hose and dedicated octopus. If I did more technical diving then I would certainly choose otherwise. Consistency is important.

 

All of your choices, Robert, are justifiable and consistent with those of many experienced divers. I'm sure they're appropriate for the range of diving you do and I'd venture to guess that's more demanding than what I typically do. Redundant masks, computers, long hoses, SMBs and spools are pretty unnecessary on a 30' house reef dive, right? ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...